Tournaments

25 Apr 2019

Catch up on all of the updates from Day Five at the Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Defending champions reach final

Mixed Doubles: Semi-Final

Defending champions Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seeds, beat Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja, the no.12 seeds (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6) to book their place in the mixed doubles final.

In the title deciding contest they meet China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, the no.3 seeds; in the penultimate round they overcame colleagues Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning (11-5, 11-8, 13-11, 16-14).

According to plan

Women’s Doubles: Semi-Finals

Surprises plentiful but in the women’s doubles event exactly according to plan; the outcome a China versus Japan final.

At the quarter-final stage Japan’s Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the top seeds, beat DPR Korea’s Cha Hyo Sim and Kim Nam Hae (11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9); they now meet colleagues Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the no.3 seeds. They accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tu and Liu Hsing -Yin (11-9, 11-2, 11-8, 11-2).

Success for Japan in the top half of the draw, in the lower half it was success for China. Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu, the no.2 seeds, beat DPR Korea’s Kim Jin Hyang and Kim Song I (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 2-11, 11-6); Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling, the no.4 seeds, overcame Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching (11-4, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6).

First ever for Spain

Men’s Doubles – Medal

A semi-final place for Ovidiu Ionescu and Alvaro Robles; it is the first time those two nations have joined together to win a medal of any colour at a World Championships. Also it is the first time ever that Spain has won a medal of any colour!

“I think last year at this time, we were not even playing doubles together and now after 10 months we defeated the best doubles’ pair in the world, Ma Long and Xu Xin of China and winning a bronze medal at the World Championships is just a dream comes true. I knew from the beginning of the tournament we had a small chance, we have been able to beat the top guys and we are able to challenge anybody. Winning the quarter-final 4-0 against one of the best doubles’ pairs in the world is just fantastic. Our secret is good communication and friendship and we trust our instinct, sometimes to take risks. Our partnership is like a marriage. ” Ovidiu Ionescu

Ovidiu Ionescu says bronze medal; at the semi-final stage the meet Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and Joao Monteiro; they received a walk-over when due to face Germany’s Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska. The Portuguese duo is not seeded. Surely Ovidiu Ionescu and Alvaro Robles have more than a chance of reaching the final?

Whatever, it a medal for Europe and a first for Portugal as well as Spain.

A plan comes together

Men’s Doubles – Quarter-Final

For whatever reason some times things just come together; at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour China Open, Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Spain’s Alvaro Robles needed doubles pair; they were paired together. At the semi-final stage they beat the host nation’s Ma Long and Xu Xin, before in the final losing to Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan.

In Budapest they caused another upset; the no.7 seeds, the beat Sweden’s Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson, the no.4 seeds (11-5, 11-7, 13-11, 11-9).

“They were after my backhand, trying to attack me but we kept to our tactics. We also studied their game closely and we were prepared.” Alvaro Robles

Wang Manyu prevails

Women’s Singles – Quarter-Finals

Six games of intense action, in the battle between two of China’s finest young players it was Wang Manyu who emerged victorious over Sun Yingsha. An end-to-end contest featuring a mammoth third game both competitors showed plenty of fight but ultimately the semi-final place on offer went to no.3 seed Wang Manyu (11-9, 10-12, 21-19, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8).

Up to 21, just like old times

Wow! Game three in this intense quarter-final meeting between Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha has gone to the former of the two players by a staggering 21-19 score-line!!!

Japanese challenge ends

Women’s Singles – Quarter-Finals

Any hopes of seeing a Japanese semi-finalist in the women’s singles draw have been crushed after Miyu Kato lost out to 2013 and 2015 silver medallist Liu Shiwen. Nothing separated the players by the close of game two but Liu Shiwen raised her performance, claiming three successive games (11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5) to guarantee a top four lockout for China.

Not to be for Miyu Kato and Japan this time out (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Swedish resurgence

Mattias Falck is the first Swedish player to reach the men’s singles quarter-finals since 2005 – hear what he has to say about his achievement:

Chen Meng survives scare

Women’s Singles – Quarter-Finals

Chen Meng joins Ding Ning in the semi-final draw but the second seed wasn’t half pushed hard in her last eight encounter as she held off a brave challenge from Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem.

The fifth game proved pivotal: trailing 9-5 Doo managed to force the match to 10 points apiece saving a game point in the process, but eventually Chen got the job done 12-10 and from that point onward it was one-way traffic for the Chinese star (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 11-4).

Chen Meng negotiates tough fight (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Queen of Hearts moves through

Women’s Singles – Quarter-Finals

China’s Ding Ning is the first player into the women’s singles semi-finals after negotiating a difficult encounter against Japan’s Miu Hirano (11-8, 4-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9).

Both players demonstrated magnificent speed on the table with the vast majority of rallies concluding in quick fashion but ultimately only one could progress and that proved to be the “Queen of Hearts.” – The title defence continues!

Breaking News: Boll withdraws from men’s doubles!!!

Unfortunately we won’t be seeing Timo Boll in action this evening after the German legend officially withdraw from the men’s doubles event due to illness. Get well soon Timo!!!

Women’s Singles Quarter-Finals

Here’s how the women’s singles quarter-finals schedule looks:

4.00pm: Ding Ning vs Miu Hirano (Table 1) – Doo Hoi Kem vs Chen Meng (Table 2)

5.00pm: Miyu Kato vs Liu Shiwen (Table 1) – Wang Manyu vs Sun Yingsha (Table 2)

Secrets Revealed

Want to know some of French star Simon Gauzy secrets? Watch and find out:

Men’s Singles

Quarter-Finals

Top half: Liang Jiangkun (China) v Koki Niwa (Japan), Ma Long (China), v Lin Gaoyuan (China)

Lower half: An Jaehyun (Korea Republic) v Jang Woojin (Korea Republic), Mattias Falck (Sweden) v Simon Gauzy (France)

The matches will be played on Friday 26th April

Simon Gauzy Reflects

Simon Gauzy looks back at his win against Wang Yang:

“I lost against him twice recently so I started the match fully focused. I did not have the adversary like I had yesterday, when I beat Xu Xin, but this match was mentally harder. I was under bigger pressure because this time I was the favourite. It is so good that I did not play a morning match because I really needed time today to find my focus and to calm down. I have not been feeling comfortable playing against defenders; that is why I started in full power from the first minute. I did not want to give him chance to attack first. I attacked with the fast backhand and through all four games he did not find the chance to recover.” Simon Gauzy

Simon Gauzy beat Wang Yang 11-0, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8

Men’s Singles – Round Four

Drama with the departure of both Fan Zhendong and Tomokazu Harimoto, the withdrawal of Timo Boll; the morning ended in a degree of anti-climax.

Simon Gauzy won the first 13 points of the match; comfortably he won the second game, before establishing a 4-1 lead in the third. Wang Yang called “Time Out”; advice from Jaromir Truksa but it was to no avail.

The Frenchman was in command; the fourth game closer but not in doubt, a straight games win recorded.

Simon Gauzy beat Wang Yang to reserve his quarter-final place (Photo: Rémy Gros)
An Jaehyun and Tomokazu Harimoto reflect

Men’s Singles – Round Four

An Jaehyun and Tomokazu Harimoto look back at their encounter; An Jaehyun remembering the defeat suffered at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Cpe Town.

“The last time we met it was a very close and tight match but today I was confident that I could win.” An Jaehyun

“I was so nervous in the match, I could not play my game. I tried to play my style but it was a bit difficult. I tried several times but it was not just working. I think I am still nursing the ambition of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games but this means I have to practise more. Probably this loss is one of the phases in table tennis which I quite know will happen.” Tomokazu Harimoto

An Jaehyun, surprise quarter-finalist (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Timo Boll withdraws

Men’s Singles – Round Four

Suffering from a fever, Timo Boll has withdrawn from the men’s singles event. However, he hopes to recover in time for his men’s doubles match partnering Patrick Franziska.

It means Jang Woojin receives a walk-over and despite the losses experienced by Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Sangeun, the Korea Republic is guaranteed a semi-final place. In the round of the last eight An Jaehyun meets Jang Woojin.

Illness has forced Timo Boll to withdraw from the men’s singles (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Ma Long beat Hugo Calderano 8-11, 11-8, 11-1, 11-3, 11-8

Men’s Singles – Round Four

First game to Hugo Calderano as increasingly the chant of “Hugo, Hugo” raised in volume. The backhand of the Brazilian, whether close to the table or distant, potent, the young man from Rio de Janeiro posed problems for the defending champion.

In the second game at 7-all it was parity; the next two points to Ma Long, eventually succeeding 11-8. High quality, the rallies stunning but could Hugo Calderano match Ma Long in the rallies department.

Just one thought, put the backhand of Hugo Calderano together with the forehand of Ma Long and Hugo Long would be some player.

Excelling over the table Ma Long dominated the third game, a rhythm to his play had been found. He gave Hugo Calderano no time to exert his power. Now Ma Long was in motion, the first three points of the fourth game secured, Ma Long called “Time Out”.

The fractional earlier timing on the ball which Ma Long exerted was proving crucial. Ma Long was in a dominant mood. There was no stopping the juggernaut, a quarter-final place was reserved.

Ma Long once in a rhythm unstoppable (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Jeoung Youngsik reflects

Jeoung Youngsik gave his thoughts follow defeat against Koki Niwa

“The first three games were close and most times made bad services and receives during important points; this really affected me losing vital points. It is my first time making it to the last 16 of the World Championships but I know I had chance to progress. My opponent played very well and I hope to be luckier next time.” Jeoung Youngsik

Response from Tomislav Pucar

A realistic Tomislav Pucar reflected after losing to Koki Niwa

“I think playing well at the Oman and Qatar Opens helped my confidence in this competition and it really prepared me well. Losing the first game was very disappointing  because I was leading 10-6, if I had won it, it would have been a different thing entirely. If I initiated an attack I could more points, he was more tactical .” Tomislav Pucar

A successful venture for Tomislav Pucar (Photo: Rémy Gros)
An Jaehyun beat Tomokazu Harimoto 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9

Men’s Singles – Round Four

Tomokazu Harimoto is the sensation, the youngest in every respect whatever the question but in Budapest, An Jaehyun, required to qualify has been a revelation; defeats earlier in the morning for Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik, the Korean mantle of responsibility rested on the shoulders of the 19 year old.

Contrary to expectations, An Jaehyun secured the opening game, immediately Tomokazu Harimoto replied; fearless and relishing the occasion, An Jaehyun secured the third and went ahead 5-3 in the fourth. Tomokazu Harimoto called “Time Out”. The break worked but it worked for An Jaehyun who increased the lead before Tomokazu Harimoto reduced the deficit to 9-6. An Jaehyun elected for “Time Out”. He lost the next point but no more, he led 3-1.

Looking somewhat stressed but fighting for every point, Tomokazu Harimoto secured the fifth game.

In the sixth game, there was nothing to choose until An Jaehyun went ahead 9-7. Tomokazu Harimoto levelled but at 10-9 An Jaehyun held the advantage, at the first attempt he succeeded. The Korea Republic celebrated.

Defeat for Tomokazu Harimoto (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Lin Gaoyuan beats Jeoung Youngsik 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6

Men’s Singles – Round Four

Speed the key, Lin Gaoyuan secured the opening game 11-8. The second game somewhat followed the pattern of the first; Lin Gaoyuan established a 10-7 lead, Jeoung Youngsik, saved two game points but no more.

Close games, the third was the same with Lin Gaoyuan prevailing 11-9 and thus established a 3-0 lead. Deciding to take some risks, in the fourth game Jeoung Youngsik trailed 3-5, he called “Time Out” and sought advice from Kim Taeksoo. However, the writing was on the wall. At 10-5, Lin Gaoyuan held five match points, he succeeded at the second attempt.

Lin Gaoyuan safely through to the last eight (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Response from Mattias Falck and Lee Sangsu

Both Mattias Falck and Lee Sangsu gave their thoughts

“I was a bit nervous in the first game but when I got back to the table on the second game, I started getting more aggressive and this really helped. I cannot express how I feel about this win because it means so much to me. As one of the seeded players, I had a target of progressing in every match and I am happy I am doing that.” Mattias Falck

“My opponent is a very good player and the match was also very difficult for me. After the first game, he became more aggressive and it was a 50:50 match. Unfortunately I could not contain him and this really cost me the match. This is table tennis, sometimes you win some and you lose some. For me after every competition, I go back to work harder with more practice.” Lee Sangsu

End of the road for Lee Sangsu (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Koki Niwa beats Tomislav Pucar 12-10, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10

Men’s Singles – Round Four

The height advantage with Tomislav Pucar, he towers above Koki Niwa.

Supreme feeling for the ball, Koki Niwa secured a close opening game. Over the table he held the ace cards. More relaxed he controlled the second game. More acclimatized, Koki Niwa making mistakes, Tomislav Pucar secured the third game. In the fourth Koki Niwa established an early lead but at 9-8, the difference was down to one point. Koki Niwa called “Time Out”. The break worked.

In recent weeks, Tomislav Pucar has played at a new level; positive with the first attacking strike he won the fifth game. The sixth game crucial, trailing 7-8, Tomislav Pucar called “Time Out”. Koki Niwa went ahead 10-8, two match points, both were saved but when a third opportunity arose, Koki Niwa converted
Koki Niwa who beat Tomislav Pucar

Koki Niwa ended the hopes of Tomislav Pucar (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Liang Jingkun beats Fan Zhendong 5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7

Men’s Singles – Round Four 

Fan Zhendong secured the first game 11-5 against Liang Jingkun, safety first, keep the ball on the table and keep your opponent under pressure, he gained success. More relaxed Liang Lingkun responded to secure the second.

The more positive player, Liang Jingkun secure the third game 11-8; now he is the more vocal player. It is role reversal from the opening game. Both from the same country but neither is giving an inch, the crowd is enthralled.

Fourth game, Liang Jingkun leads 10-7; tension. Next two points to Fan Zhendong; Liang Jingkun takes “Time Out”. A long rally ensues, a backhand top spin from Fan Zhendong flies long. Liang Jingkun lead 3-1.

In the fifth game, Liang Jingkun goes ahead 4-3; Fan Zhendong takes “Time Out”. Liang Jingkun is on fire. Narrowest of edges, signaled by Fan Zhendong he moves ahead 6-4. Matters level at 7-all; super consistent, Fan Zhendong moves ahead 10-8, clinches next point, deficit down to one game.

Can Liang Jingkun respond? Has Fan Zhendong weathered the storm?

In the sixth game, the early advantage is with Liang Jingkun, outstanding counter top spin rallies, he establishes a 6-3 lead. Fan Zhendong, once again reverts to safety first, consistency, he levels at 6-all. Again Liang Jingkun seizes the advantage; at 10-7, three match points. He succeeds at first opportunity.

Liang Jingkun who beat Fan Zhendong (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Mattias Falck beats Lee Sangsu 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6

Men’s Singles – Round Four

Athletic, Lee Sangsu won the opening game by narrowest of margins, 13-11, against Mattias Falck; an immediate response to secure the second 11-8

A close third game, the verdict against 11-8 in favour of the Swede. It gives him a major boost. In the fourth game he moves ahead 6-1. He maintains lead to win 11-5.

Lee Sangsu responds, establishes 5-2 lead in fifth game. Mattias Falck replies wins next seven points. Match point at 10-6, secured. Mattias Falck salutes the crowd.

Mattias Falck outstanding (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Day Five arrives

It’s time for Day Five of the Liebherr 2019 World Championships to begin – for detailed information take a look at the fixture schedule below:

Preview Day Five

See what’s coming up on Day Five with our quick preview article:

Preview Day Five: Further drama awaits as tensions rise

Omar Assar x TATA Trickshot

Backhand, forehand, jump shot – Watch Omar Assar’s brilliant trickshot!

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Day 8 - 2019 World Table Tennis Championships

Match Highlights